Keenan Allen Defiantly Denied Pay Cut With Los Angeles Chargers, Breakup Was Painless

Credit: Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Chargers are the only NFL team Keenan Allen has ever known. After becoming the 76th overall pick in the 2013 NFL Draft, the Cal product burst out onto the scene with a 1,000-yard season as a rookie. Allen would repeat that feat five more times across his 11-year tenure with the Chargers.

Remember Antonio Gates? It felt like he played forever, and he was one of the best tight ends of our generation. Yet, Allen was just 1,311 receiving yards away from becoming the Chargers’ all-time leading receiver. One would think he’d have his sights set on breaking that record.

But he never got that chance. Allen was traded to the Chicago Bears earlier this week after reportedly refusing to take a pay cut that would have reduced his massive $23.1 million cap hit in 2024, the 11th-highest rate among receivers.

However, before Allen was traded, the Chargers approached him with an opportunity to stay, but as mentioned, when it came time to discuss his pay, the soon-to-be 32-year-old had zero interest in accepting less money.

So, while the Chargers wanted to keep their leading receiver, who was coming off a career year, their salary cap constraints placed GM Joe Hortiz in a tough position. Now it’s up to Quentin Johnston, Trey Palmer, Derius Davis, and likely another incoming rookie to step up as Justin Herbert’s top pass-catchers in Los Angeles. Otherwise, there’s always turning to the trade market too.

Related: 4 Los Angeles Chargers Trade Options To Replace Keenan Allen After Disheartening Blockbuster